LA Weekly posted a venn diagram about what Angelenos think Armenian food is and what Armenians think Armenian food is. If you want good Armenian food in LA, you know to go to Glendale or Little Armenia. One of my favorite go-to spots is the classic restaurant Carousel off of Hollywood Blvd in Little Armenia (there’s another one in Glendale). It’s an Armenian/Lebanese place that is affordable and tasty.
The restaurant is tucked away in a small strip mall and is family run. If you go on a weekend, I suggest you make a reservation because this place gets packed. Before we ordered our meal, we were served the complimentary pickled radish, pickles, carrots, cheese, and olives. I love the vibrant colors on this plate.
For our mezze, we ordered the following:
Hummus – The texture was creamy and they added a nice spot of olive oil you can mix in. I can eat this stuff with just a spoon and still lick the plate after. Yes, it’s that good.
Sarma (grape leaves stuffed with veggies) – These are smaller than what you may think but they definitely have a lot of flavor. It’s a little too tangy for me.
Falafel – These may look like mini donuts with sesame seeds but these are fresh out of the frier falafels over a salad. When they served this plate on our table, I could still hear the hiss and crackle of the oil. They are tasty but a little oily so it’s definitely worth splitting rather than hoarding it for yourself.
And for main course, I ordered the chicken and lamb kebab. The meats here are well seasoned and I’m never disappointed by the flavors. Don’t laugh but one of my favorite things about this dish is the side dish: bulgar wheat pilaf. I eat this stuff in heaping spoonfuls because of it’s buttery smooth texture and taste. The portions for the main course is often pretty big so I usually take the rest home so I have leftovers to gorge on the next day.
I know there are plenty of quality Armenian restaurants in LA but for me Carousel is an old habit and I always feel comfortable when I go there with a big group. What’s your favorite Armenian restaurant?